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Hello! My name is Tianna Baird and I am a Pre-K teacher at St. Columbkille! I am excited to be a part of the Holy Family community! Although this is my first year in Holy Family, it is my fourth year teaching! I am a 2017 Loras graduate but grew up in Florida! I absolutely love everything Disney! My husband and I love to do theatre together; he is more of the tech, sound, and lights person while I am more of the dancer and actor! I also love to craft, bake, and tap dance whenever I can!
I love my job and getting to run all of our vocal music programming. I run the curricular choirs, as well as the extra-curricular show choirs, and help to music direct the musical. We’re proud to have the choirs represent the largest activity or club at Wahlert Catholic, taken part in a number of national and even international tours, and are excited to continue growing in the years to come. If you would need to contact me, please feel free to email.
My name is Kate Burke. I am married to Aaron, who is a physical therapist with Finely Hospital. We have four girls who all attend St. Columbkille. Grace is in 5th grade, Lucia is in 2nd grade, Ava is in 1st grade and Clare is in preschool. I worked at Holy Ghost as a social worker prior to coming to St. Columbkille. I am very excited to work with the wonderful staff at St. Columbkilles. I have a strong love for Jesus, my family, working with kids and coffee. When I am not at school, I like to go camping with family and friends, relaxing at a beach or getting coffee with friends. I am a very social person and I am so glad that we can be safely in school together again.
Hi, I am Michele Colbert. I have taught at St. Columbkille for 37 years. I have taught 1st through 4th grades. It is always impressive (and a bit scary), how many students I have taught that are now sending their children to St. Columbkille. I am currently teaching second which is my favorite. It is such a pleasure to prepare students for 2 sacraments and watch them grow in their faith along the way. Second grade is also when students start to pick out their favorite chapter books and really form life-long reading skills. I like having a hand in that.
My husband and I live a little south of Dubuque. We both like to garden and spend time with our families. I enjoy planting flowers and vegetables. When I have time you will find me in the kitchen baking and cooking. I enjoy trying out new recipes.
I am very excited for this year to meet many new students and parents and to facilitate my students making new friends. I have been so proud of how students have handled the masks and heat.
Hi! My name is Megan Collins. I was born and raised in Dubuque, Ia with my parents and 5 siblings. I have attended Catholic school my entire life, including St. Columbkille’s! I graduated high school from Wahlert and graduated from Loras College this past May. I am in my first-year teaching and I am overjoyed to be back at St. Columbkille’s in Kindergarten. Outside of teaching, I am a dance teacher at Studio 5678. I have been involved in dance since I was in 3rd grade and have been a dance teacher since I was in 8th grade. In my free time I like spending time with my family and friends, being outside, and watching movies. I look forward to growing in my Catholic faith and being able to help students to be successful inside and outside of the classroom.
Hi, my name is Sandy Ehlers, I work at St. Columbkille early childhood center. I’m a Para in the PreK 5 hr. Classroom, and love working with our families. I have 4 daughters and have been married for 41 years. And I have been blessed with 7 wonderful grandchildren, who have been keeping me sane this past year. I love going on hikes, watching my grandkids grow and going out for ice cream.
I’m a University of Northern Iowa graduate who grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa. I teach Personal Finance (1 and 2), Accounting (1 and 2), Economics and BizInnovator.
I am Mrs. Bayleigh Esser and teach in room 104. My husband, Jordan, is a linesman for Jo Carroll Energy in Elizabeth, IL. We recently got married and moved to Galena, IL. This past May, we added a golden retriever puppy to our family. His name is Skeet! We are looking forward to adding a niece to our family in September and are enjoying time with our nephew that was born in April!
Hi my name is Mrs. Kimberly Fisher. I am the three year old preschool teacher here at St. Columbkille. I have been teaching preschool for over twenty years. I am married to my husband Ryan and we have two children together. Austin (18) and Kinzlee (8)-3rd grader at St. Columbkille). We have two shitzu puppies (Lacy & Lilly) . As a family we love to go camping, swimming and riding our UTV on the Wisconsin trails.
Hello, I’m Holly Flood. I have been teaching the 5 hour Pre-K class here at St. Columbkille since 2016. My husband, Michael, and I have two young children, Maggie and Patrick, and lots of pets – a dog named Biscuit, a turtle named Skittles, a fish named Bruce, and frogs, toads, and even snakes that visit for a few days at a time following one of our favorite family pastimes, hiking. When I’m not teaching, hiking, or taking care of pets, I enjoy running, swimming, biking and competing in triathlons. I’m also a certified kids and adult yoga instructor.
Hello! My name is Ellen Funke and this will be my third year teaching 4th grade at St. Columbkille. I was born and raised in Dubuque and attended Resurrection, Mazzuchelli, and Wahlert. I graduated from Clarke University in 2017 with my B.A. in Elementary Education with endorsements in Special Education and Reading. After that, I co-taught next door at Bryant Elementary in 3rd grade and graduated with my M.A.E. with a focus on Instructional Leadership. In my free time, I enjoy biking, baking, and enjoying historical fiction books and shows.
Ms. Gaul is in her 40th year of teaching English and advising student publications at Wahlert. She also serves as the English Department chairperson. As part of her course load, she teaches dual-credit composition courses for Northeast Iowa Community College. She is sometimes known as the lady-who-carries-the-camera-around at school events. Email is the best way to contact her, and she welcomes your questions whether they be about yearbook matters or class matters.
Hello! I am Denise Grant, principal of Resurrection Elementary. A native “Hoosier,” I have known I wanted to be an educator since third grade. I received my undergraduate degree in Deaf Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN, and moved to Iowa. Later, I went to the University of Iowa for an Elementary Education endorsement, then obtained an MA in Elementary Administration from Loras College. My experience includes teaching hearing-impaired students and grades 3, 4 and 5. I have been a principal for about 14 years!
My husband, Mike, and I have three children. My hobbies are snow skiing, swimming, watching football and reading, and Mike and I love to travel.
I am very honored to serve as principal of Resurrection Elementary, a National Blue Ribbon School. It is a joy to partner with our staff, parents, and community to provide a faith-filled and engaging educational experience which challenges our students to reach their full potential.
Hello, I am Mrs. Hosch. This is my first year at Saint Columbkille and I am so excited to be here in 3rd grade. I have six years of experience teaching 2nd grade in a Catholic school. I love sharing my faith with my students throughout our whole day together.
I live on my century family farm with my husband, Matt, and our 4-year-old daughter, Ellie. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends. We especially love to ride our UTV around Dubuque County and Wisconsin. My hobbies include gardening, canning, cooking, baking, sewing, and crafting.
My name is Gael Huinker and I am a Pre-K Associate at St. Columbkille. My husband Ted and I have 4 children that have all attended school at St. Columbkille. This school year our oldest, Gina, is a senior at Wahlert High School. Our second oldest is Ellen and she is a freshman at Wahlert. We also have a son who is in eighth grade at Mazzuchelli and our youngest daughter Katie is in second grade at St. Columbkille. This is my fourth year working for Holy Family, my first year was as a substitute teacher at many of the schools, and the past three years as a full-time Pre-School Associate and it has been a wonderful experience! In my everyday free time I enjoy gardening and taking our dog Gibson for long walks. I also love to vacation as a family when we have more time. St. Columbkille church is dear to my heart as I attended mass often as a child with my Grandparents and my husband and I, my parents and my Grandparents were all married at St. Columbkille.
Hi, my name is Linda Johnson. I have been teaching for 35 years. It has been such a pleasure to work at four wonderful schools, Holy Ghost in Dickeyville, Nativity, St. Anthony, and St. Columbkille. The majority of my career has been teaching at the first or second-grade level.
I have been blessed with two, very special daughters. Cassidy has returned to the University of Iowa this year to pursue a 2nd degree. Jenna is finishing her final semester at Clarke. We also have a beautiful, long-haired dachshund named Gus.
In my spare time, I enjoy a variety of activities. Gus and I love to go for long walks. Our favorite season is Fall. My daughters and I enjoy shopping, movie/game nights, eating out, photography, kayaking, and yoga.
I am very excited to be a part of the St. Columbkille community!
Hi, my name is Mary Lou Johnson. I was born and raised in Dubuque and I have been a lifetime member of St. Columbkille Parish. I graduated from Iowa State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Go Cyclones! My husband’s name is Mike. We have four children. All our children have attended St. Columbkille School. I have been teaching at St. Columbkille School since Sept. 1999. Some of my hobbies are reading, making crafts, and walking/running. I truly enjoy teaching kindergarten. The children are full of life and excited about learning!
I am married to Deacon Travis King. We have 4 kids, Erin 8th, Anna 7th, Claire 3rd, and John 1st. I am originally from Wisconsin and attended Loras College. This is my 3rd year in kindergarten. My hobbies are photography, baking and being outside. This summer we went to Yellowstone and canoed by the Grand Tetons.
I still remember my dad asking me, “What do you want to do?” My response was instantaneous – “I want to teach.” That was over 30 years ago and I am still doing what I love. Seasons have come and gone, as have my students, and every year I’ve enjoyed the journey. I have learned so much from my students and look forward to making even more memories here at St. Columbkille. When I am not teaching, my husband, Dave, and I enjoy being empty nesters. We bought a camper this past summer and we are learning the ropes of camping at our nation’s state parks. We also adopted a cat, Patches, to share our adventures with us. When I’m not camping I like to scrapbook the many photos that I have taken, bake and decorate cakes, embroider, take long, quiet walks and of course read books! I’m looking at life a bit differently now and even though I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do, I do know I’m not alone. Family and friends are an integral part of life and they make each day a wonderful experience. I have had over a half-century of living, learning, laughing and loving. I can only hope the next half will be as memorable.
I am thrilled to be serving the families of Holy Family in a new position for the 2019-2020 school year. I was blessed in my previous position at Resurrection as the Resource Teacher to work with so many great students. I bring that enthusiasm with me to my new role. Since completing my master’s degree in Special Education, I have found a relentless desire to serve our students in this area. I also love spending time with my family, traveling, and cheering on the Packers, Cubs, and Hawkeyes! However, my favorite athletes live with me. My children are entering 8th, 10th, and 11th grades this fall at Mazzuchelli and Wahlert, and I live for watching them play! An interesting fact about me is that I like to bowhunt!
Hello, my name is Rhonda Koppes. I teach third-graders now but have taught first, second, third and fourth graders during my career. I have been teaching at St. Columbkilles for over 30+ years. I am married to John and have two daughters. Kayla is married and is a nurse. She just gave birth to our first grandchild during this pandemic. Kelli is a teacher and was supposed to get married this past summer but had to postpone her big day until May of 2021. I enjoy walking every day with my dog, Lola. I also enjoy coaching girls’ volleyball and basketball at Mazzuchelli! Teaching has always been a very rewarding experience for me. I love to see the students’ expressions when the lightbulb goes on when they have learned a challenging concept! St. Columbkille has always been my home and I always think of my students as “my kids”! I have been very blessed to be able to teach here with such great students and supportive parents!
My name is Cathy Krueger. I have been teaching for 36 years. I have taught at Sacred Heart School in Osage Iowa, St. Patrick’s School in Epworth, St. Joseph Key West and the past 12 years at St. Columbkille. When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my growing family. My husband Jeff and I have 3 wonderful children – Jordan, is a Pre-K teacher at Anson School in Marshalltown. Jordan and her husband Harrison, live in Lincoln, Iowa with their beautiful 21-month-old daughter, Stella and 4-month-old son, Tripp. Kirsten lives in Eagan, Minnesota. She teaches Kindergarten in the St. Paul School District and was recently engaged. Connor works for an internet consulting company in Cedar Rapids and will be married this June. Many exciting events happening in our family! 🙂
I teach Senior Religion and Why Am I Catholic. I moderate the STOP (Students Teaching Others Peace) Club. I am the Pep Rally MC. I have been married to my awesome wife Colleen for 40 years, and we have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
I love teaching at Wahlert Catholic! This is my 42nd year of teaching here. You can reach me via email or phone. Have a great school year! And, Go Golden Eagles!
My name is Lori Lahey. I teach art classes for kindergarten through fifth grade. I grew up in Dubuque and attended Resurrection School. I then went to Wahlert and attended Loras College after my graduation from high school. I have been teaching for the Holy Family Catholic Schools since my college graduation. I am married and have three beautiful adult children, and I have been married to my husband, Frank, for 32 years. I enjoy teaching art and watching the children create and use their imaginations. In my free time I enjoy walking, reading, crafting, golfing and spending time with my family.
This year marks my 30th year of teaching both in the public and private schools in Iowa and Wisconsin. I have taught at middle school and in the subject area of English, but the majority of my experience has been in high school and in the area of Spanish. I absolutely love being with the students and helping them on their way to life-long learning.
I’ve been an assistant coach for the girls’ tennis team here at Wahlert for two years and in charge of our knitting club. All are welcome even if you’ve never picked up a racket before nor knitting needles. We have enthusiasm and the love of the game for tennis and the passion and a desire to help others in need by donating what we make, whether it be scarves, hats, baby blankets or the like.
Finally, I have been privileged to take students to Spain on 8 different occasions. My favorite part is to see Spain through their eyes for the first time. In 12 days time, they become wiser and their minds are opened to a whole new world and a whole different way of living. The bonds they form with their travel mates and the culture and language authentizes their learning in the classroom and increases their skills by leaps and bounds.
Most importantly, I am truly lucky to have my husband Jim and my two grown sons, Michael and Nathan. They are the center and balance in my life and they make me feel loved and safe. Without my family and my faith in God, I would be lost.
Out of the five schools I’ve taught at, and I mean this sincerely, I’ve never felt so strongly bonded to our community of teachers and staff and what we offer both academically and spiritually to our students. We are always striving to do better for them.
Out of the five schools I’ve taught at, and I mean this sincerely, I’ve never felt so strongly bonded to our community of teachers and staff and what we offer both academically and spiritually to our students. We are always striving to do better for them.
My name is Jenni Malcom. I am the technology coach at St. Columbkille School. I have been teaching for 22 years. I am married with 2 children. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family, reading and being outdoors.
I’m so excited to join the Mazzuchelli staff for the 2019-2020 school year! I’m a 2017 Loras grad and previously served as youth minister at the Cathedral of St. Raphael/St. Patrick parish in Dubuque from 2015-2017. I was most recently the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Rita in Rockford. I love acting, talking about Jesus, and playing with my dog, Rocky. I can’t wait to form disciples at Mazzuchelli!
Hi my name is Ayla Murphy, formerly Ayla Graziano, and I am the general music teacher at St. Columbkille as well as the orchestra teacher for Holy Family. I am primarily a violinist and a flautist, but have become a pianist since I began teaching. This is my third year of teaching, all of which have been at St. Columbkille. I love to share my Catholic faith with our students through music and the celebration of our liturgy each week! My husband and I live in DIckeyville and we enjoy playing tennis, basketball and going for walks together.
I have been with Holy Family Early Childhood for 21 years. I am the Early Childhood Coordinator and Director, at St. Joseph the Worker. If you would like to reach me, please email or call.
I also serve as the head coach for boys track.
I am Andy Paulsen and teach Physical Education at St. Columbkille and Resurrection Schools. I am originally from Blue River, WI and I’m a 2003 graduate of UW-Platteville. While at Platteville I was a two-time All-Conference football player and a 5 time All-American in track & field. I am a 2019 UWP Hall of Fame inductee for Track & Field. I have 2 brothers, I’m the middle one. I live in Dickeyville, WI. My wife, Jen, is also a UW-Platteville graduate. She works at Prudential Financial in Dubuque, IA. We have two daughters, Lily (7) and Madi (2).
My name is Laura Ripley and I am so thrilled to be joining the St. Columbkille school community! I have been blessed to serve in the Holy Family Catholic school system for 25 years teaching a mixture of pre-K through second-grade students. My husband Shane and I sent our 3 kids off to college this year – Christopher to St. Ambrose and our twins Monica and Isaac to UNI. We are looking forward to enjoying nature this Fall and spending time with our kids when they come home for a visit.
Hello, My name is Therese Rix and I assist your teachers in 4th and 5th grade. This is my second year at St Columbkille. I found after working in sales for a few years and raising five children that I really like to be around kids. I enjoy the students’ curiosity and it brings me pleasure to see their successes. When I am not at school I enjoy my family, friends, and long walks. I also like to cook, bake, and read.
My name is Barb Roling, and I am blessed to be principal at St. Columbkille School! I have been the principal here since 2003! Prior to that, I taught at St. Joseph the Worker, Holy Ghost, St. Columbkille and St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville. My husband, Jerry, and I have 4 wonderful children and 7 amazing grandchildren. All of our children attended St. Columbkille and Wahlert. Our youngest was young enough to attend Mazzuchelli. Our daughter Emily lives in Davenport with her husband and 6 children, ranging in age from 16 years old to almost 2. Nathan, our son, and his wife, Laura, live in Indianola, IA. Natalie, our daughter and her husband live in Dubuque with their soon to be one year old. Jessalyn graduated from Loras and moved to Seattle for a year of service with City Year-Americorps. We are very proud of them and the solid foundation they received in Holy Family Schools!
39 Years of Teaching (30 at Wahlert)
AP Reader 13 years
AP Consultant 9 years
Married to Jane (class 78)
Father of 4
Grandfather of 7
Contact me by email
Originally from Dubuque, I am thankful to be teaching in the community in which I was raised and enjoy sharing my love for this beautiful tri-state area with my students. I have also been fortunate to teach and live in the Milwaukee area, which has opened my eyes to the blessings that this close-knit Wahlert community is fortunate to share. My husband, Sean, and I also work with Convivium Urban Farmstead to support their mission of creating community around food, along with our efforts to repurpose unused land into a shared garden space. My personal passion of protecting our shared home translates into both my teaching and personal life, and I love sharing that with my students in the hopes that they learn to share a portion of that passion.
Originally from the Madison area, I graduated from Verona Area High School in 2014. I attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where I studied Biology and Secondary Education, and graduated in 2018.
My professional interests include environmental science, human-caused climate change, socioemotional health, and mental health.
My personal interests include running, journaling, playing guitar, and reading.
Hello, my name is Jennie Specht – I am beginning my fourth year as an associate for 2nd and 3rd grade at St. Columbkilles.
My husband, Mike, and I have three children. Tommy is a junior at Wahlert. Will is an 8th grader at Mazzuchelli and our daughter Emma is a 2nd grade at St. Columbkilles.
I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends.
A graduate of Marquette Catholic and Loras College. Started my teaching career in 2006 at Holy Ghost as the Director/PreK teacher for Early Childhood. In 2008, I moved into a full-time Pre-K position. I taught for 6 years. In 2012, I moved into the role of Technology Integration Coach and have loved it ever since! I currently reside in Dubuque with my husband Brad and three girls.
I am a Spanish Immersion Pre-K and ELL teacher, and I have been with Holy Family since 2008. I love when students learn another language in fun and exciting ways. I enjoy spending time with my family and all of our pets too. Here’s a link to my website: https://sites.google.com/a/holyfamily.dbq.pvt.k12.ia.us/mrs-t-s-spanish-immersion-pre-k/.
Hello, I am Anna Vallee, the Secretary at St. Columbkille. I have been working for Holy Family since 2016, and recently joined St. Columbkille in 2019. My husband and I have 5 children. I enjoy spending time with my family and watching the kids play sports.
I am honored to be the Principal of Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School beginning in 2019 after serving as the Assistant Principal since we opened in 2005. Many of our teachers have been with us since the beginning of the Mazzuchelli journey and those who have joined us since then have also embraced our community and our mission. I look forward to working with our families to provide the best possible social, emotional, and educational environment for all of our students.
I graduated from Clarke University with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Music. I also hold a Reading endorsement from Upper Iowa University and an early childhood endorsement from Morningside.
I have been at St. Columbkille since 2004
I am married to Nick and have 2 sons, Tyler and Tate
We are a sports-centered family so I spend my spare time watching my son’s sporting events and cheering on my favorite teams–Hawkeyes, Cubs and Steelers!
Hello! My name is Heather Weig. I am a graduate of Loras College. I have had experience teaching in first or second grade and this is my 23rd year of teaching! I have a husband, Don, who is a deputy sheriff for Dubuque County. I have a son, Kayden, who recently graduated from Wahlert and is working through a CNC program at NICC. I have a daughter, Taylor, who is currently a junior at Wahlert. I also have a malshi dog named Sam that I love dearly! I am so happy to be teaching first grade again this year!
Hi, I am Mrs.Tammy White! My husband, Chad, and I have 2 children. Molly is a sophomore at Wahlert and Mason is in 4th grade at St Columbkille. I have worked for Holy Family for the last 8years. Until this year I was part-time with the administration staff and a classroom associate. This year I am working in Kindergarten! My favorite things to do are cooking, camping, traveling, hanging out with family, and watching the Cubs!
My name is Mrs. Meredith Willman. I am originally from St. Paul, Minnesota and I have 3 siblings. I went to Loras College and actually started my teaching career at St. Columbkille in 2012. After three years of teaching here, my husband, Tyler, and I moved to Madison, Wisconsin. In Madison, we had three kids (James (4), Madeleine (2), and Elsbeth (10 mo), I taught for 5 years, got my masters from Creighton University, and sometimes cheered for the Badgers when they weren’t playing the Hawkeyes. I am so excited to be back at St. Columbkille!